The Run Away Children

Elizabeth was young and fullish. She had a fight with her parents and decided to go and live her own life, she didn't realize that that drastic measure could change her whole life.

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2. Two rabbits and a stew

© BlueSunset

 

I layed face down onto the shared narrow bed, digging my face into my pillow screaming with pain. Grace was treating my cuts with hot water. The cuts were surprinsingly deep this time, but that was because the sweaty idiot used a bigger whip then usual.

Grace put the wet cloth on the deepest cuts nearest to my spine. I began to scream louder and louder that eventually I bit my hand hard enough to make that bleed too.

"There, all done." Grace said.

I gave a sigh of relief. "Thank you."

Grace kneeled to look at my face and gave me a weak smile. I could see she was worried about me, but I was getting used to this cruel punishment.

Ever since Helen died, she had been my closest friend. She'd arrived a week after me. She was wearing her best clothes and was probably more prepared to go and live on her own than anyone who ever tried to run away from their home. She had food and water with her, which she generously shared with the starving children who practically mobbed her.

I looked at Grace's feet to see that the kids were sleeping on the floor. I felt guilty. There they were, sleeping on the damp floor when I had the whole bed to myself. They looked so innocent though, all together, keeping each other warm. Smiling in their dreams, probably fantasizing about them being back home, huggling up to their parents in their warm house.

"You know, they were worried about you" She began, as if she'd read my mind. "Little Tommy thought you were dead when you were resting, I practically had to rock him to sleep."

We all cared about them very much. They didn't deserve being in this wicked place. They deserved a proper education, proper food, a proper life. They didn't deserve being forced to work in this evil camp.

"I swear, Grace, we will get out of here. I'll try my hardest to do so."

Grace nodded. "I know we will, someday."

There was no doubt in her voice. We were both eagger on escaping. The only problem was how.

I smiled and changed the subject. "What time is it?"

"About six I think."

I tried to pull myself up off the bed. "I better get started on the stew-"

Grace pushed me back into the bed and gave me a grin. "Don't be daft, woman. I'll sort that out."

I sighed and layed down on the bed once more. I was too weak to get up anyway. I just watched how Grace whisked herself away to our small oven and began to put the vegetables in our only pan.

"Nic will be back, soon. He went off with the boys from Cabin 12 hunting."

In the camp, the eldest boys had the chance to provide for their cabin by going hunting. They'd only get 20% of what they caught, the rest would go to the fatties. We were lucky though. Nic was good at hunting. His father was a butcher as well, so he knew how to deal with meat.

"You won't believe what happened in Cabin 5 today. They've lost two lives. The two youngsters died of pneumonia. The soldiers didn't provide them any medicine, they said it was just a cold. Oh, I do wish I had got the chance to have helped them in some way, if only-"

"Grace, you've helped kids around here the most. Those fat bastards are heartless. They don't even give a damn if children die, they only care about their immaginary treasure."

"But, don't you think that one soldier has ever encountered on sparing at least one life? Or maybe even two? Surely they're human enough to realize what they are doing to us."

As I opened my mouth to protest, there was a knock on the door.

"Ah! That'll be Nic!" Grace strolled off to the door and unlocked it.

The door swung open. Nic was soucking wet with a big smile on his face. He had two dead rabbits dangling from his hand. He stretched his arm and wiggled the rabbits in the air.

"Look at these beauties!" Nic said excitedly. "Caught them with another 8 and 2 pheasants!"

Nic moved from the door to give Grace a kiss on the cheek, Grace trying to avoid the sharp rabbit's teeth from grating her thigh. He then walked over to me and gave me a kiss on the cheek too.

"How's your back? It does look awful. I hope you don't get any scars."

"I'm fine. Grace was kind enough to disinfect my cuts." I looked at Grace who started to blush.

"Nic, have you done the business yet?" Grace asked, changing the subject.

When Grace used to say that, she usually meant if he'd taken the guts out of the poor animal. She couldn't stand watching him do it, she found it way too gory. She didn't like getting rid of the guts either.

"Sorry Grace. It was pouring down when I caught them, I decided to get back to the cabin first before they'd get wet."

Grace showed a sign of disapproval, yet she was still happy that he'd got us something to eat. We hadn't had so much food for a long time. Usually we only had a bird or two, or even a rat caught from the camp. So, compared to what we usualy ate, this was a feast.

I slowly got up from the bed, waking the children up. They were all happy to see me, especially Tommy. Sam was observing enthusiasticly how Nic dealt with the rabbit, Katie was talking with Grace and I was there snuggling up to Tommy and Melissa infront of the oven with our only blanket.

After tea, the little ones all cuddled up in our bed and fell asleep immediately. Nic, Grace and I were still up, talking about how quickly they were all growing up. We then thought of how we would be, in the future. All of us together, in our own house, with our own jobs and in our own schools.

We didn't know that in a few weeks time, our whole lives would change.

 

© BlueSunset

 

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